: Searching for a car - this summer



djcwardog
03-25-05, 05:30 AM
Guys,

I will return home to St Louis, MO this summer. I have put up a couple posts today - new member. I want to buy a 1974-1976 CDV with that 500 ci mill. I would consider a 1977-1979 as well if it has already recieved a transplanted 500 ci mill. A modern overdrive tranny would also be a plus. I like dark blue cars and want to enjoy tons of low to mid RPM torque from a sleeper car. Of course, all accessories to include factory a/c must be there and operate. I am good with a wrench and have successfully brought several old cars back to life, but have learned that it is cheaper in the long run to just buy the car closest to the condition you want than to dump tons of money into a "bargain" to bring it up to your desired condition. I have found MTS and Cad Company and bookmarked their sites already. Where else should I look? A few questions as well:

1) Were all the '74 to '76 engines fuel injected or was that just an option?
2) Any reason I should get (or steer clear) of a car with an FI motor? I am concerned that these would have been very early FI models and not like today's cars at all.
3) Is the 425 mill so different from the highly-touted 472 and 500 that I should not even consider using one as the basis for a mild build up for street performance?

Thanks!

djcwardog

caddydaddy
03-25-05, 09:38 AM
Fuel injection was an option beginning in late 1975. I had a '76 Fleetwood Brougham with it. I would steer clear of an EFI system, unless you want to convert it to carb, or MegaSquirt. The EFI system on the 500's was very primitive, and has some very strange parts that control the engine. It can be expensive to fix, since parts are hard to find.
The 425 has a weaker crankshaft than the 472 and 500's, so I'd look for one of them to start with.

djcwardog
03-25-05, 10:13 AM
Caddydaddy,

Thanks for answering on two of my posts today! I figured the early FI system was primitive and you have confirmed this for me... I'll look for a 500 ci car with the 4-bbl carb. There seem to be quite a few to choose from on ebay. I guess condition is the driving factor.

Sincerely,

djcwardog

davesdeville
03-25-05, 04:02 PM
I'd say if you find a FI car pick it up. It shouldn't be very hard or expensive to convert it to be run by a megasquirt - if it even needs to. The stock FI manifold out flows even the Edelbrock 2115.

The 74 had the 472 (except the Eldos.)

cad_90
03-25-05, 06:46 PM
Some comments/questions regarding the 1974 Sedan Devilles...

I personally, would prefer a carb rather than a FI system. I think it's more fitting for a huge tank of a car like this.

- Any major differences between the 472 and the 500, besides the hp and torque?
- Are these engines/transmissions interchangable?
- Whats the average MPG I should expect from these engines?
- Either or both engines readily rebuildable? Parts available?


Can anyone share their experiences with this year caddy, or similar years, as far as working on it, restorations, etc... I really want to know what I'm getting into if I buy one.

davesdeville
03-26-05, 04:22 PM
FI is more fitting because Cadillacs were supposed to have all those cool high tech gadgets. :yup: But don't worry about it, only something like 1% of 76 models had the FI option I think.

The only differance between a 472 and a 500 is the stroke.. Any 500/472/425/368 will bolt in where one was before, and they all used TH400 transmissions. The 425/386s used a shorter tailshaft version TH400, other than that interchangable. Rebuilt 500 in a 5200 pound car with FI or a perfectly tuned Quadrajet, maybe 10-12 city and a couple more cruising slow on the highway. There are plenty of parts for both engines, you can get anything from cast replacement pistons to steel stroker cranks...

Nothing special really about these cars as far as restoring or working on them as compared with other 70s domestics. You might have to climb in the engine compartment to do some work because of their sheer size, other than that... the powertrain, electrical, everything is pretty simple.

djcwardog
03-27-05, 02:41 AM
Guys,

I am continuing to look at cars. I kind of like the rear side windows best on the cars up to and including 1973.

What is a "Calais"? Is it the DeVille minus the vinyl roof? I like the all-metal roof better.

Sincerely,

DJC

fleetwood76
03-27-05, 08:02 AM
Hello
The Calais was the "entry model" of the cadillacs until 1976 when it was cancelled.
Calais was the chance to get a cadillac at the lowest possible cost. the way to do that was to strip the car of many things that was "standard" on the others models. i'm not sure of all the things that was simpler on the calais, but in theory it was possible to get a calais as equiped as the others if the first buyer checked enough options from the optionslist. but in reality the calais is less equiped than the others, since it was of course better, to order a Deville or a Fleetwood at once if you wanted it equipped as one.
jolle.

djcwardog
03-27-05, 12:45 PM
Fleetwood 76,

Thanks for giving me that info. A Calais with all the options except the vinyl roof would be a nice car! Now I guess I have another question: Could you order a Deville or Fleetwood without the vinyl roof? I see some cars for sale without vinyl roofs. I read about big rust problems caused and hidden by vinyl roofs. Anything to watch out for if I buy one w/o the vinyl or have it removed myself after purchase? Will I kill value of the car or am I likely to find a swiss-cheese metal roof when the vinyl comes off? I am really thinking of the 1973 Coupe Deville in particular. Its 472 engine has the right heads and the good block that will allow an easy rebuild and use of a stroker crank - the same crank as the 500's - to get a 500.

fleetwood76
03-27-05, 04:43 PM
Hello Djcwardog.
I dont know if it was possible to delete the vinylroof when ordering the car, the subject have been on the forum not long ago but that concerned later models so i can't tell if it was possible with the pre -77:s models. Even if it was possible to delete the vinylroof, my guess is that the majority of the cars that are sold now without the vinyltop, have had the top remowed, eigther for the look, or as you write, due to rust problems, or that they didn't wanna spend the $$ to replace the vinyltop. whatever reason i wouldn't holt it all to bad to buy a car where the top is already remowed, atleast it is easier to see any fault (rust) if the vinyl is gone.
Compared with a "mint" vinyltop (newely made, and good done) you kill value. But compared with a 30 year old and dry top you shouldnt kill any value, atleast not if the trims that belongs to the top is aviable.
what you find under the vinyl is always hard to now, one way to try to find out is to push or tap with yours fingers on the vinyl around the rear window and on the c-pillar to feel and lissen for a chruncy feeling/sound. the reason there is such a problem with the rust under the top is due to poorly rust protection (only primed) from factory. and the sad fact that an old worned V.top acts like a spunge and hold the water. On my fleetwood brougham -76 the vinyl top had been remowed, and that was nothing i was sorry for.
The -73 coupe DeVille is great looking, and it is something special with a two door car that is almost six meters long.
Is there anything special with the year 1973 for you, since i see you have a corvette from that year too.
good luck / jolle

djcwardog
03-27-05, 05:27 PM
Fleetwood 76,

I started by thinking that I wanted a Caddy with the 500 in it from the factory. Since I want rear-wheel drive, that meant 1975 or 1976. After doing more research I learned that the 472 engines in the 70-74 cars (although possibly very few 1970 cars have the older block...I'll have to check block casting numbers if buying a 1970) have better blocks than the 472's in the earlier years in that their oiling is better and they can accept the 4.300" stroke crank of the 500 motors. Basically, the 1970 to 1976 Caddys share the same block. As the only difference between a 472 and a 500 is the crank and pistons (but they both share the same bore), once you buy the required crank and new pistons, your 472 becomes a 500. With this knowledge, I was then open to considering 1970 to 1974 cars with their 472's as well. If I really wanted a 500 I could drive as is until needing a rebuild and then do a 500. The 1968 to 1970 cars are also beautiful, but they have the older 472 block which is not a good candidate for a rebuild to 500 specs as those blocks won't accept the stroker 500 crank (according to Cad Company's web site http://www.cad500parts.com/index.htm). After looking at current cars for sale on ebay, I noticed that I like the rear side windows the best on the 1971 to 1973 cars. It's hard to explain, but I like the way they fit in with the fenders, etc. Pure style - especially with a plain steel roof and chrome window trim! The 1974 to 1979 cars use a smaller side window that is offset upwards just a bit. Also, 1977 to 1979 cars are downsized and have the 425 motor. However, a 500 would swap in for the 425 no sweat... Later cars have nice style, but they are subtly different from the 1971 to 1973 cars. So it works out that I am drawn to a 1973 simply because it is the last year where all the variables fit to suit me. I would take a clean 1971 or 1972 as well since they look the same as far as side windows and they share the desired later 472 block. This is interesting and you raised the question, because I selected the 1973 Corvette as my favorite based on similar thinking. My 'Vette has the rubber front nose and the chrome rear bumpers - my favorite style there, plus it has the big block 454. In 1974 both front and rear bumpers were rubber and that was the last year for the 454. So my 1973 Corvette is the last year to have a chrome rear bumper and the 454. 1973 was also the last year of the superb Pontiac SD-455 Trans Am. That was really GM's last try at a muscle car for some time. The SD-455 had huge valves and free-flowing heads. Really too much valve for the street, but with slight mods, a screaming car! Maybe some day I'll buy one - but they are out of sight in value now! I guess I have narrowed my search down a bit - at least until I learn that someone has a 1979 Coupe Deville with a Cad Company 500 and 700R4 tranny in it for sale!

New question - how much does it cost to put in a later model (Sanderson) a/c compressor so I can use a Edelbrock Performer manifold? It would take new brackets and likely a new hose setup as well.

Sincerely,

djcwardog

davesdeville
03-27-05, 10:50 PM
New question - how much does it cost to put in a later model (Sanderson) a/c compressor so I can use a Edelbrock Performer manifold? It would take new brackets and likely a new hose setup as well.

Sincerely,

djcwardog

I would consider saving my money and cutting the center divider from the intake manifold plenum area. Pics and flow numbers are available on my site http://www.500caddy.us look on the left side for "manifold."

djcwardog
03-28-05, 02:57 AM
Nice flow numbers and you keep the stock look! I tried to use the link to Torque, Inc http://www.cadillachighperformance.com (http://www.cadillachighperformance.com/) but it does not seem to work. That milling looks pretty precise - maybe better than I can do with a grinder on the workbench?